They say Christmas is a great time for kids – and this is true for a six-week-old pygmy goat in South Yorkshire.
The adorable little fellow, called Benjamin, has been lapping up the attention from festive visitors at Pot House Hamlet in Silkstone, where he lives with his owner Tom Horsfield.
Super-friendly Benjamin was hand-reared by Tom after his mother struggled to cope with him and his twin.
Benjamin’s initial outlook was bleak, but he ‘bleat’ the odds and is now looking forward to Christmas Day with his new adoptive parent, Tom.
Tom, aged 29, said: “He will be joining us for a family Christmas. I’ve already bought him a woolly jumper as a gift, though I’m worried it will be too small for him at the rate he is growing.
“Benjamin is a big fan of brussels sprouts, which means I can pass them under the table to him to get rid of them.”
The cute kid has become Tom’s shadow since he nursed the young animal back to health, hand-feeding him milk drop by drop for the first few days.
Benjamin follows Tom, who is the estate manager at Pot House Hamlet, a historic former industrial estate, to work in the morning and returns home with him every night, gaining a fair few new fans each day.
Tom said: “He’s become a celebrity. He’s had lots of publicity, including television and radio interviews as well as visits from the public who are obsessed with how cute he is. Visitors have travelled from as far as the Isle of Man to see him.”
All the attention has meant Benjamin the goat has gone global, with people watching footage of the famous farm animal online in the US, Australia and Japan, to name but a few.
He also has thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter, though which he bleats, instead of tweets. Tom said: “We can’t believe how popular he’s become, he has his own merchandise.
“It’s great to put a smile on people’s faces at this time of year and Benjamin is certainly doing that.”
Benjamin lives in Tom’s kitchen, but after Christmas he will be let out into nearby fields to join Pot House Hamlet’s other animals.
Tom said: “I’ve been trying to harden him up by taking him out in the fields and leaving the kitchen window open, though he loves a nap by a radiator.
“I won’t miss clearing up his mess, but I’ll definitely miss him being with me all the time. There will be some female goats in the field though, which I’m sure will distract him.”